Virgil & Sue Klein
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Just look to the right on this web page. There is a link to LeBaron Bonney Company who specializes in automotive interiors. I am sure they can answer your questions or may have available the seat covers you are looking for.
Thanks for the link to the ad for the car. For a bunch of easily seeable reasons that is NOT a ’55. The grill is from a ’56, the “MERCURY” lettering on a ’55 is on the hood, not the bumper as on the car pictured. The quarter panel molding is definitely a ’56 and it is a Medalist model which was not made in ’55. Also, as stated above, the serial number of 56SL is for sure a ’56.
I have seen this come up before on these older cars. When the car was an early production (for the model year) and it was registered for the first time, many motor vehicle departments (the local county in my case in Nebraska) registered the car for the year it was built but not the model year of production. Remember, back in the 50s the new cars were almost always introduced in September or early October. The confusion can arise from that. It could also be a simple typing error on the title or registration as well.
If the serial number begins 56SL that is a ’56 built in St Louis. There were no ’55 Medalists according to my shop manual which lists all of the ’55 models. I believe in ’55 the “cheap” Merc was a Custom.
As to why there are no ’57 Medalists, who knows.
Concours Parts in Carson City, NV shows rear shocks for your ’56 on their website. They advertise in Quicksilver and their info is on page 49 of the winter issue. C&G Early Ford parts in Escondido, CA also shows they have shocks that fit your ’56. Best news of all is that NAPA Auto Parts also carries these shocks. Hopefully you have a NAPA store close to you so you can save on shipping.
If you “google” “Mercury data plate decode” a whole bunch of websites with decoding information will come up. If you post your data plate info here some one will help with the decode. What year Merc are you trying to decode? In the past, Gary Richards had published decoding information in Quicksilver and I have those copies to assist. Years ’49 through ’60 as I recall.
Looks like we (you and I) have figured out that the Lightning Bolt was a ’64 Comet built exclusively for drag racing. It ran in the A/FX class and a replica of the car can be seen at dluxhotrods.com under the “cars for sale” tab. Anyone interested in buying it can purchase it from them. All the info on the car is at the website as well. Maybe an IMOA member will bring it to Louisville!
I looked at Dearborn Classics website. They seem to have lots of parts for mid 60s Ford products including Mercury. Don’t know if they have body panels but I’m guessing they are worth a look. Hopefully they can give you some ideas as to who carries body panels.
I looked up a bolt pattern chart on google. They show a bolt pattern for all big Mercs from ’55-’60 as 5 on 5
The simple solution to bolt pattern is to measure it on the wheels you have, even though they are 15″, and use that for your new wheels. Wheel diameter does not affect bolt pattern. And, “YES” your mechanic should know this as should any good tire/wheel shop. Somewhere there must be a chart for bolt pattern on a ’60 Merc. Just a thought: take the two wheels you have and try them on your car. If one fits use it.
May I first ask why you want to switch to 14″ wheels? In my opinion, for wheel size, bigger is better. As to rim size, the gentleman at the tire store is a bit confused I think. If you are looking for 14″ rims that are 6″ wide then order them that way. I think the bolt pattern (5×4.5) is being confused with rim width. It is important that the bolt pattern on your new wheels matches the pattern on the car otherwise the wheel will not fit on the car. Bolt pattern is stated as 5×4.5 which means it is a five lug wheel with a space between the bolts of 4.5″ (but not the bolts that are right next to each other). Please read up on bolt pattern on the internet as it can be confusing. Measure the bolt pattern on your existing wheels. It MUST match the pattern on the new wheels. Please also read up on “wheel offset” (the inside depth of the wheel). This can be critical to good handling and even fitment issues, not to mention “look”. Swapping wheels ain’t that simple as you can see.
If you are going for an original look then the tread design might be important to you. My personal feeling is that as long as the tire acts like a radial it is OK. I run Firestone radials on my ’55 with narrow whites. I am not that concerned about the originality of the look but I personally like the black between the rim and the whitewall.
Hi John and welcome to IMOA. We look forward to seeing your Park Lane at an upcoming IMOA event. Louisville in July 2016 comes to mind. I assume you know the size of tire you want. Any good tire store can help you with the change in dimension from SAE to metric. I would personally suggest a good radial tire for handling and safety reasons. That leads to a bit of a problem since you want wide whites (WW). The one tire maker that would make such a thing (that I am aware of) is Coker tires. They have available just about any size radial in a wide white. Be prepared for a bit of “sticker shock” when you price them but they do a made a quality product and are well known for that. Good luck with your project.
I would guess the problem is not with the flasher as it works OK with the right side. If the bulbs are good the problem is no doubt a lack of ground on the left side. Unfortunately I have no idea where the flasher is on a ’66.
After some quick investigating (and without a picture) I think the hubcap you have is for the ’39 to ’42 era. I found a good picture of a ’39 hubcap and it is exactly as you describe and only covers the center of the wheel thus the 8″ diameter.
Apologies to all on my previous post. I misread the chart I was using. The rear end gear ratio for cars with overdrive in 1950 was 4.27. Sorry ’bout that.